As strange as it sounds, the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic All By My Side, starring Andre Benjamin as the legendary guitarist, will feature none of the hits written by the iconic performer. Instead, it will feature only covers he performed during the eleven years in which the movie is set (1966-77).
Jimi’s sister Janie, who handles all the affairs of the Hendrix Estate, has said that any project wishing to use Jimi Hendrix songs must have their full participation, and that clearly the filmmakers do not. They also scoff at the idea of making a Hendrix picture without any of his original material.
It’s interesting to speculate as to why the movie doesn’t have the estate’s permission, as the only explanation given by producer Sean McKittrick was that he never wanted to use the songs in the first place. Successful films such as The Doors, Backbeat and Walk the Line were not only good movies, but featured the music that made those music acts famous, part of why audiences turned out for those films. Of course Jimi had plenty of moments we can’t wait to see that didn’t involve “Purple Haze” or “The Wind Cries Mary,” such as the his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” or the hands down greatest rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” ever recorded, but are these enough to sustain an entire film? We’ll just have to wait and see.